Liz Watson

State: Indiana

Elected Office: U.S. Representative

Reason for Endorsement:

I want to tell you a little bit about myself. I'm a Democrat running to represent Indiana's ninth district in Congress.

I am a product of Bloomington’s public schools—Childs, Binford, Batchelor and Bloomington South. I'm a fifth-generation Hoosier.

Some of my favorite memories from growing up here in Indiana are camping in Morgan-Monroe State Forest, fall weekends in Brown County looking at the leaves and seeing a play, and hanging out at Lake Monroe.

My favorite job that I held as young person was as Congressman Frank McCloskey’s intern in the district office. I took phone calls from constituents about matters like curb cuts in sidewalks. We took their calls very seriously. Now that I've pushed both a stroller and a wheelchair up a sidewalk, I understand just how important those curb cuts are. 

I went from there to college and Georgetown Law School. During law school, I represented victims of domestic violence and helped them get orders of protection from their abusers. After law school, I went on to represent moms who were being denied assistance, simply because they couldn’t do a work assignment without adequate child care for their kids.

I also represented working people in low-wage jobs who were treated unfairly—some were victims of pregnancy discrimination, others were unfairly denied unemployment compensation, others got fired over the need to take time off to care for family members.

When you work for people the economy has left behind, you see that impossibly low wages are not the only problem, it’s working conditions too. Our laws have yet to acknowledge the reality of people’s lives – parents working two jobs who need affordable child care, daughters and sons caring for aging parents who need paid family leave, women who need equal pay, people who made mistakes in their lives who need a second chance, and working people who need stronger protections for organizing so that we can restore unions’ strength. 

I worked hard to solve those problems. I held jobs as the director of workplace justice at the National Women’s Law Center, as the executive director of the Georgetown Poverty Center, and as the Labor Policy Director for Democrats in the United States Congress. 

I led the development of the $15 minimum wage bill in the House, and I worked with Senator Sanders' staff when he introduced the companion bill in the Senate. I drafted first-of-its-kind legislation to end the practice of calling people into work on a couple of hours’ notice and telling them if they don’t report, they’re fired. Senator Warren introduced this legislation for the first time three Congresses ago. Since then, it’s been introduced in cities and states across the country. I brought a Working Families Agenda to the United States Congress. 

My roots in Indiana run deep – all the way back to the Civil War. This is where my parents are. It’s where my friends are. The treasurer on my campaign is one my childhood best friends and my co-president of the high school student council. 

After the new Congress came in, I watched as our Congressman, Trey Hollingsworth, voted nearly every single day to set Hoosier families back – worker protections were gutted, our health care threatened, clean air and clean water protections rolled back, women’s health was under attack and rampant sexual harassment that undermines women on the job was ignored.

The values we share were under attack.

And so I made the decision to try to do something about it. I decided to step up and run for Congress.

I will always vote to make Hoosiers’ lives better, and that will be my litmus test for every single vote I take. Right now, Congress is overrun by politicians who answer only to special interests, including Trey Hollingsworth. And we’re all sick and tired of it. 

I hear that every time I’m sitting down with neighbors and friends in communities across the district. They are tired of politicians in Washington who don’t listen, and who don’t fight for us. 

We want affordable health care, good-quality education for our kids, good-paying jobs, equal rights, and a clean environment.

We want a representative who cares about us. And we're not going to settle for less.

Year: 2018